An Unnecessarily Complex Tenkara Fly

Ostrich Sakasa Kebari

Most tenkara flies are simple.  But they don’t have to be.  In fact, some can resemble miniature Atlantic salmon flies.  Here is an example of a fancier tenkara fly to show some possibilities.  I normally tie simple flies for fishing, but let’s face it…if you’re a fly tier at heart, a few turns of hackle and a thread body gets old after a while.  For those of us who consider fly tying an art and a passion (not just a utilitarian endeavor), pushing the boundaries of sakasa kebari design fuels our enthusiasm and connection to the sport.

Hook:  Owner Super Yamame #7
Loop Eye:  White silk bead cord #2
Head:  Red thread
Tag:  Small silver wire
Butt:  Dark gray ostrich herl
Body:  Black thread
Rib:  Small silver wire
Hackle:  Brahma Hen, badger

Have you tied any “fancy” flies for tenkara?

Author: Jason Klass

Jason is an avid fly angler and backpacker. As a former fly fishing guide originally from Western New York, he moved to Colorado and became an early adopter of tenkara which perfectly suited the small, high altitude streams and lakes there. He has not fished a Western-style fly rod for trout since.

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11 Comments

  1. It’ might be a bit complex, but it’s freaking gorgeous!

  2. Any self-respecting trout would be a fool for passing that up!

    I guess…. ;-)

  3. fly in Christmas sweater.

  4. Thanks Rick!

  5. Nothing wrong with a little complexity. I agree, to catch fish you don’t need much (a killer bug and a royal sk are all I need) but there is a lot to be said and fun to be had just tying whatever comes to mind.

  6. Couldn’t have said it better myself

  7. Nice fly Jason. If it was a Salmon fly, only three turns of Silver for the tag and five turns for the rib ;) I tied a Jock Scott once. Only took four hours. It’s in a glass box. Talk about Unnecessarily Complex!!

  8. Very nice, Jason. I have been tying some with the Owner hooks and really like them.

  9. Hi Joe,
    4 hours is pretty good for a Jock Scott! I’ve only tied a few presentation salmon flies and remember tedious hours of marrying and gluing wings together before even starting the thread on the hook. I switched to Rangely streamers because they were “easier” but still pretty labor intensive. At one point I found this type of tying fun but now I like tying tenkara flies because they’re so much easier to make “fancy”.

  10. That is a very nice and transparent fly, i like it.

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